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China on the new journey an opportunity for the world




Last month, the Communist Party of China (CPC) held its 20th National Congress, an event of great significance in the sense that it charts the course for the country’s domestic and foreign policies for the next five years and beyond. With new tasks and objectives set, China is now embarking on a new journey. Where is China headed? What does it mean to the world? These are questions that matter to countries across the globe.

In the past week, China’s top leadership provided the answers. From 14 to 19 November, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Indonesia and Thailand back-to-back for the G20 summit and the ensuing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting, and met with over 20 world leaders face-to-face, calling for concerted efforts to promote global development and strengthen global governance. In a world mired in uncertainties and instability, the messages from China are reassuring.

China is committed to promoting global development through its own development.

In his conversations with world leaders, President Xi articulated China’s central task for years to come, which is to achieve national rejuvenation through a Chinese path to modernization. It will be the modernization of a huge population, of common prosperity for all, of material and cultural-ethical advancement, of harmony between humanity and nature, and of peaceful development.

With over 1.4 billion people, China will provide a super-large market. To date, the size of middle-income group in China has already exceeded 400 million and it will continue to grow, considering the country’s emphasis on delivering prosperity for all. The enormous buying power of the Chinese people, together with the government’s commitment to opening the market wider, will give a strong boost to economic development elsewhere.

The positive spillovers will not be limited to the economic field. China’s focus on ecological conservation and environmental protection is already paying off, driving the low-carbon transition at home and green development across the world. With culture and education being one of the pillars in China’s modernization drive, international exchanges in these areas will grow and nurture a climate of mutual understanding and friendship among nations.

All this will be premised on a peaceful environment. China has all along made it clear that it will not repeat the beaten path of traditional powers in advancing its modernization. Instead of seeking hegemony and exploiting latecomers, China is embracing a vision of community with a shared future among all countries.

China is committed to strengthening global governance through multilateral cooperation.

The G20 leaders and APEC economies gathered at a time of fragility and momentous changes. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet. The geopolitical situation remains tense. Global recovery is being hampered by the crippling food, energy and financial crises. Some have opted for decoupling and severing supply chains, with the talks of “friend-shoring” or “reshoring”.

China’s answer to the challenges of the times is an unequivocal stand with peace, development and win-win cooperation, and for upholding true multilateralism and open regionalism to revitalize global governance. President Xi called on world leaders to replace division with unity, confrontation with cooperation, and exclusion with inclusiveness. Solidarity and common development are the only right choice to make.

China’s proposals were incorporated into both the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration and the APEC Leaders’ Declaration, pooling consensus and building confidence for international solidarity and cooperation. In addition, the announcement of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2023 is much welcomed, as it will inject fresh impetus to global development.

China is committed to a healthy and stable relationship with the United States.

The China-U.S. relationship is one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world. With global challenges and crises compounding one another, it is high time that the relationship be brought back on track. The bilateral summit between President Xi and President Biden in Bali, the first face-to-face meeting between the heads of state of the two countries over the past three years, offers a golden opportunity to shape the future of this relationship, and has naturally become a focus of international attention.

The strategic role of head-of-state diplomacy in developing bilateral relations is irreplaceable. The two presidents aimed to set the course and establish the parameters for the relationship, and spent more than three hours laying out their strategic intentions and key concerns and discussing issues of great significance to the bilateral ties and the global community. They agreed to prevent the relationship from derailing and getting out of control, to find the right way for two major countries to get along, to work out the principles or strategic framework for the relationship together, and to make sure that their consensus on managing and stabilizing the relationship is truly implemented.

The special timing and significance of this meeting cannot be overstated. It is a strong action taken at the head-of-state level to stabilize relations and prevent conflict. The common understandings reached thereof, if delivered, will kick start a process of “building bridges”, recalibrate the relationship and finally bring it back on track. This is undoubtedly great news for the international community, and will have a profound impact on the international landscape.

China is committed to strengthening friendship with its neighbors.

Choosing Indonesia and Thailand as the destinations of the first presidential visit after the Party Congress speaks volumes about how much China values its relations with neighboring countries.

Indonesia is a major developing country, a key emerging market and the world’s most populous Muslim country. It is also where President Xi first proposed the initiative on building a 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. Earlier in the year, the two countries had agreed to work toward a bilateral community with a shared future. During this visit, the two sides built on that consensus and signed a new action plan on their comprehensive strategic partnership for the next five years.

China values the geographical proximity, cultural affinity and people-to-people bond with Thailand. Marking the tenth anniversary of their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership this year, China and Thailand launched the process to build a community with a shared future for enhanced stability, prosperity and sustainability.

These fruitful results reveal the depth of friendship between China and its neighboring nations. They are also evidence that China’s efforts to promote a community with a shared future for mankind are turning from ideal into concrete policy and action.

China is committed to working together with partners around the world.

Fostering partnerships, not alliance, has been a key objective for China’s diplomacy. The plurality of China’s bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 summit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting suggests that it is no lip service. President Xi found time to converse with friends both old and new, and exchanged views with leaders of both the developing world and the developed Western nations.

With the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei and other neighboring countries, China would continue to deepen their friendship and cooperation. It seeks to increase understanding and trust with France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, to name just a few. It also commits to strengthen ties with the United Nations, and to work together on operationalizing the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Security Initiative (GSI).

With regard to the Ukraine crisis, China voiced its unequivocal support for peace. As President Xi stressed, there is no winners from conflict and war and no simple solution to complex issues, and confrontation between major countries must be avoided. China always makes objective and fair judgment based on the merit of the matter, and works to bring parties together for peace talks.

The productive leader-level talks demonstrate that partnership is always possible through dialogue based on mutual respect and equality, even though views and positions may differ. More and more countries have come to realize that China’s development means the growth of the force for peace and progress, and that China is a friend and partner they can trust and work with.

As China’s first presidential trip overseas after the CPC’s 20th National Congress, President Xi’s visit provides a crucial indication for the direction of China’s diplomacy on the new journey. From Bali to Bangkok, China has shown confidence, responsibility and consistency in its foreign policy. The world can rest assured that China on its new journey will continue to be an opportunity for peace, development and progress.

Source(s): People’s Daily Online


Chinese envoy: Immediate ceasefire in Gaza is the universal call





A Chinese envoy said Thursday that an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is the universal call of the international community and the overwhelming consensus of Council members.

Two days ago, the Council once again missed an opportunity to push for a ceasefire in Gaza because of the veto of an Algerian-drafted resolution by the United States, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, stressing that “the realization of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is an urgent requirement to save innocent lives and to prevent a wider war.”

The envoy said that China has noted that the U.S. has introduced a new draft resolution and hopes that the United States will adopt a responsible attitude, and respect the established consensus of the members of the Security Council.

The core of the Council’s action must be the immediate realization of a ceasefire, and the relevant signals must be clear, unambiguous and unmistakable, rather than evasive and covert, he told the Security Council.

“What the Council needs at this time is strong determination, not just negotiating skills,” Zhang emphasized.

Zhang also pointed out that China is gravely concerned by the recent repeated public dismissal of the two-state solution by some Israeli politicians and their rejection of any international effort toward independent Palestinian statehood.

Noting that “Gaza is an inalienable part of Palestine, and the two-state solution is the bottom line of international justice and the only viable path toward the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli issue,” he said that China urges Israel to stop without delay eroding the foundation of the two-state solution, “halt the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians, and cease the searches, arrests, and raids in the West Bank.”

The historical wrongs suffered by Palestine must be righted. Palestine’s aspiration for independent statehood must be fulfilled. China supports Palestine in becoming a member of the United Nations as soon as possible, and calls for the convening of a larger, more authoritative, and more effective international peace conference to push for a comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, he said.


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Arab states condemn U.S. for vetoing UNSC resolution on Gaza ceasefire





Arab states have condemned the United States for vetoing another United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as looming Israeli attacks on the southernmost Gazan city of Rafah raise concerns that the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave may deepen.

During an emergency session of the UN Security Council held in New York on Tuesday, the draft resolution put forward on behalf of Arab states by Algeria won 13 votes in favor among the 15 members of the Security Council. The United States voted against it, while Britain abstained.

Massive outcry

“The U.S. veto, which defies the will of the international community, will give an additional green light to Israel to continue its aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip and to carry out its bloody attack on Rafah,” the Palestinian presidency said in a statement carried by Palestine’s official news agency WAFA on Wednesday.

Secretary-General of the Arab League (AL) Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Wednesday voiced his “deep regret” over the U.S. move, the third time since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict in October last year that the United States interfered to fail a draft resolution aimed to reach a ceasefire.

The U.S. positions undermined the credibility of the international system and contributed to the paralysis witnessed by the United Nations, Aboul Gheit was quoted as saying in an AL statement.

Egypt and Qatar, having been actively brokering deals between Israel and Hamas since their conflict began, have expressed their regret.

Egypt strongly denounced the “selectivity and double standards in dealing with wars and armed conflicts in various regions of the world,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry slammed the U.S. veto as “arbitrary and disgraceful,” accusing the U.S. of being hypocritical, as it claimed to support human rights while allowing the Israeli “killing machine” to continue its attacks on Palestinian civilians.

Jordan, which borders Israel and has normalized ties with Israel, expressed on Tuesday its regret and disappointment at the failure of the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

“All those impeding such calls should review their policies and calculations because wrong decisions today will have a cost on our region and our world tomorrow. This cost will be violence and instability, ” Algeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Amar Bendjama was quoted by the UN news as saying on Tuesday.

Deep concern

The resolution was put forward at a time when Israel has signaled its intention to conduct a ground operation in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city that shelters about 1.4 million Palestinians, to “eliminate” Hamas and rescue Israeli hostages who were taken by Hamas militants in October.

While visiting the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops on Tuesday in southern Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed that his country will continue the fighting until all goals are achieved. “There is no pressure – none that can change this,” he said.

Israel’s reported plan for an assault on Rafah has sounded alarm bells globally, with many countries urging restraint or cancellation of the operation.

Regional countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain, voiced deep concern over the potential offensive on Monday.

Twenty-six EU member states called for an “immediate humanitarian pause that would lead to a sustainable ceasefire” in the besieged Gaza Strip, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in Brussels on Monday.

U.S. adding to crisis

Despite the mounting calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, the Biden administration is preparing to send a new package of weapons to Israel, which is estimated to be worth tens of millions of U.S. dollars, the Wall Street Journal reported last week, citing anonymous U.S. officials.

“The Americans are not doing anything practical to stop the (Israel-Hamas) war,” said Youssef Diab, a political analyst from the Lebanese University.

The repeated trips to Israel by U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as the U.S. financial and military support for Israel, have given Israel the green light to continue the war on Gaza and kill more children, he said.

Source(s): CGTN

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Objection to cease-fire in Gaza equals license to kill: Chinese envoy





Following the U.S. veto on a Security Council draft resolution that would have demanded an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, a Chinese envoy said Tuesday that objection to a cease-fire in Gaza is nothing different from giving the green light to the continued slaughter.

The draft resolution won 13 votes in favor among the 15 members of the Security Council. Britain abstained.

China expresses its strong disappointment at and dissatisfaction with the U.S. veto, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

Algeria, on behalf of the Arab states, put forward the draft resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, the immediate release of all hostages, guaranteed access to humanitarian supplies, and the rejection of forced displacement. Such a resolution, based on the minimum requirements of humanity, is urgently required by the situation on the ground and deserves the support of all Security Council members, he said in an explanation of vote after the vote.

Algeria, demonstrating reason, sincerity, and an open attitude, held lengthy and extensive consultations with all parties on the draft resolution and took on board many constructive ideas, which made the draft resolution more balanced, he said. “The outcome of today’s vote clearly shows that on the issue of a cease-fire to halt the fight in Gaza, it is not that the Security Council does not have an overwhelming consensus, but rather it is the exercise of veto by the United States that stifles the council consensus.”

The U.S. veto sends a wrong message, pushing the situation in Gaza into a more dangerous one, said Zhang.

The U.S. claim that a resolution would interfere with the ongoing diplomatic efforts is totally untenable. Given the situation on the ground, the continued passive avoidance of an immediate cease-fire is nothing different from giving the green light to the continued slaughter, he said.

While the draft resolution has been vetoed, the spillover of the conflict is destabilizing the entire Middle East region, leading to rising risks of a wider war. Only by extinguishing the flames of war in Gaza can the world prevent the fires of hell from engulfing the entire region. The Security Council must act quickly to stop this carnage, said Zhang.

The Security Council must take action to push for a cease-fire. This should not be a matter of debate, but rather a moral obligation that the council cannot shy away from. It is a legal responsibility that the council must assume. Even more so, this is a political requirement that the council must fulfill in accordance with the UN Charter, he said.

“The veto cannot muffle the strong call for a cease-fire and an end to the war. The Security Council cannot stop its work to uphold justice and fulfill its responsibilities just because of the veto,” he said.

China urges Israel to heed the call of the international community, abandon its plans for a Rafah offensive, and stop the collective punishment of the people of Palestine. China expects countries with significant influence to have fewer political calculations, but rather to be truly impartial and responsible, and to make the right choice to push for a cease-fire in Gaza. China calls on the international community to pool all diplomatic efforts to give the people of Gaza a chance to survive, give the people of the entire Middle East region a chance to have peace, and give it a chance for justice to be upheld, said Zhang.

Source(s): CGTN

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